Generally speaking, the issues of allocation of decision-making responsibility, parenting time and child support remain within the continuing jurisdiction of the court, following the entry of a divorce decree.
Other issues such as the property division, spousal maintenance, undisclosed assets, retirement or other account divisions, many be more difficult to revisit after the parties have signed a separation agreement or the court has entered permanent orders. But, it often depends on how the agreement or orders were written, as to whether these doors can be reopened after divorce.
The message here that seasoned divorce attorneys give to their clients is simple: it is easier and cheaper to do it right the first time than to try to revisit an issue after something has gone awry. We often find clients having to spend more money to fix a poorly written divorce agreement, that they either did themselves or tried to get done through someone without legal expertise in these areas, than they would have spent on us, just having done it right for them the first time. Like filing taxes, you want to get it done right, the first time, or you are just inviting further headaches and expenses!
However, depending on what issue a party is seeking to re-address, there are varying lengths of time that may apply before such a motion may be filed, limitations on when the motions may need to be filed (i.e., statutes of limitation or limitations on periods for review), or certain standards may be need to be met (i.e, a substantial and continuing change in circumstances).
Divorce cases in Colorado are held by the District Court. Parties are divorced when a decree of dissolution of marriage enters. In order for the court to enter a decree of dissolution of marriage, the parties either need to enter into global agreements (called a separation agreement and a parenting plan, if the parties have minor children) filed with the court, or the court needs to hold a hearing (called permanent orders) and then enters orders either verbally to the parties at the hearing or in writing. When one party seeks to readdress that agreement or permanent orders, it’s called a post-decree action. It is important to find out from a seasoned attorney what standard applies to the type of modification requested:
• What Standard Applies When Modifying Parenting Time and Decision-making?
o Best Interests of the Child or Endangerment?
• Applying the Standards to Different Modification Scenarios
o What Standard Applies When Parenting Time is Shared Equally?
o When a Change of Primary Residence is Requested?
o When Parenting Time is Being Restricted
o When a Parent is Seeking to Relocate?
• Standards that Govern Modification of Decision-making When Parents Share Decision-making Jointly
o When One Parent Has Sole Decision-making?
o When One Parent Has No Decision-making?
Speak to a seasoned Colorado divorce attorneys today about your post-decree dissolution of marriage issues! Please call us at 303-688-3045 or contact us. Our Douglas County divorce attorneys are based in Douglas County, but we serve the courts throughout the Front Range and the entire State of Colorado.